Program Project Coordinator, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass.; Age 33
Katie Chappell likes to joke that she has 105 children, and 45 happen to live with her — along with a 90-pound dog named Fenway.
This thumbnail sketch of Chappell’s life says a lot: She loves to work with young people, she’s not afraid of hard work — not to mention a lot of noise — and she’s a perennial Red Sox fan, as is her canine companion.
But it’s not the whole story. Those 105 kids comprise the girls Chappell works with through her position as program project coordinator with the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass., and the women she lives with as house director of the Sigma Delta Tau Psi sorority at UMass Amherst.
These are just the two latest positions Chappell has held in an already-impressive career working with youths and nonprofits, including as fund development coordinator with the Springfield Boys & Girls Club Family Center and Dunbar Community Center, senior program director with the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford, Conn., and recreation building supervisor with the Manchester Recreation Department in Manchester, Conn.
Chappell has worked with the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass. since 2012, holding three different positions as she advanced in her career. Her accomplishments in that time have included increasing the number of programs offered by 346%, summer-camp attendance by 20%, and recipients of Bronze and Silver awards, which recognize exemplary service by Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes, by 10%.
But the Girl Scouts organization has been instrumental in bringing her out of her comfort zone for much of her life, said Chappell. She earned her own 25-year pin in 2014, and maintains her membership in the national chapter.
“I truly believe that Girl Scouts make the world a better place. It taught me how to give back to the causes and issues I care about as I grew up, and now, I can instill what I got out of scouting in others,” she said, noting that this includes her volunteer work with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, the Massachusetts Park and Recreation Assoc., and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, to name a few.
“Everything I do is a passion for me, and why I give back and do everything that I do,” she said. “If it’s important to you, you make time, and make things happen.”
— Jaclyn Stevenson
Photography by Leah Martin Photography